Picks and Pans Review: The Art of Defense

updated 06/18/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/18/1984 01:00AM

Nona Hendryx

She's got rhythm, all right. It flows, throbs, bounces, lashes, hypnotizes. Hendryx is a naturally rhythmic singer and on this album is backed up by percussionists Aiyb Dieng (a native of Zaire), Daniel Ponce and Trevor Gale, as well as three synthesizer sidemen. Whether she has music is another question. Her melodies often meander through the congas, bells, tom-toms and pipes. And her lyrics run to such drivel as this, from I Want You: "You get me started/You turn me on like a shot without warning/Start the fire that's the passion in me/You leave me weak when you're gone I'm still longing/For you put a spell on me/This ain't no fantasy/I want you." Nobody expects Hendryx, a Labelle alumna, to be Cole Porter or Elvis Costello, and sometimes people do just want to dance, not think. But it doesn't hurt to toss out an idea once in a while, even if it's a most basic one, such as that expressed on this LP's best track, I Sweat (Going Through the Motions). (RCA)

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